The New York Times reports that Gov. Andrew Cuomo of New York would push the legalization of recreational weed in a few short months, as stated in a long awaited speech given to reporters.
The administration’s effort to “advance [their] justice agenda and particularly address the forms of injustice that for too long have unfairly targeted the African-American and minority communities,” is in part represented by the expected $1.7 billion in annual sales this move will generate, according to Cuomo.
“The fact is we have had two criminal justice systems: one for the wealthy and the well off, and one for everyone else,” he said.
Following Cuomo’s speech, the Drug Policy Alliance said the following in a press release:
“With Cuomo’s commitment and Democrats regaining control of the New York Senate and Assembly for the first time since 2010, the question is no longer should New York legalize marijuana, but what legalization will look like.”
The DPA’s executive director for the state of New York, Kassandra Frederique, expressed the following: “Governor Cuomo and the new Democratic majority have a golden opportunity to get legalization done the right way, right away.”
The pros of weed legalization would outweigh the cons of ongoing prohibition, The new York Health Department issued in a report from earlier this year. Ever since, during dozens public of listening sessions on the issue, officials have continued to educate themselves and their decision.
It’s only recently that Gov. Cuomo warmed up to the idea of legalizing weed. As early as last year, he was known to lean on the exhausted trope of cannabis being a “gateway drug,” and publicly opposed New York’s uber-restrictive medical cannabis program that was established on 2014.
A handful attribute Gov. Cuomo’s new stance on the legalization issue to the previous Democratic gubernatorial primary opponent and former “Sex and the City” co-star Cynthia Nixon, which, during her brief candidacy, used ending cannabis prohibition and mending the New York subway system as a platform.
10 states – plus Washington D.C- have decided for the ending of cannabis prohibition, and many of them are bordering New England states.